Friday, December 19, 2014

Nutcracker 2014

Sunday afternoon we gathered the crew and attended WDT's inaugural performance of The Nutcracker.  I worked backstage the night before and was so excited to be sitting in the audience with the boys, Hubby, both sets of Grands, Bestie B plus girls, Bestie H plus family, and Bestie J and her beau. 

Belle performed the role of toy soldier in Act I and marched on stage front & center. 

In Act II, Belle danced the role of a squirrel. In this version of The Nutcracker, squirrels help Clara and the Prince find the magical golden nut that was stolen by the Mouse King. Thank you Bestie H for the photos. I vowed not to bust out the camera and just enjoy the experience.

The whole cast and crew put on a lovely performance with the countless hours of practice paying off. I can not express how touched we were that such a large group of family, friends and neighbors turned out to watch Belle perform....there were around 25 of us total. My heart is so full of thanks and love for each and everyone of them.

The evening culminated with a dinner party back at our house. We grabbed a few catering trays from a local restaurant, turned on the football game, let the kids run crazy in the basement and had a nice relaxing evening celebrating family and friendship. Until next year.....Belle's already counting down the days.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Advent Activities {Week 2}

As the big day gets closer and closer our schedule gets fuller and fuller. This past week was a doozy, but worth it looking back at all the memories, milestones & merriment. 

Last week I left off with a Gingerbread House cliffhanger. As promised, the littles got to try their hand yet again at confectionary construction. We were seated with Belle's bestie A and the girls had a blast together. 

The boys started off interested, but were quickly lured away by the sounds of horseplay in the halls. So a majority of my evening was spent corralling two sugar-high least I didn't have to cook dinner and clean up after the sugary mess they had made.

 The littles each received their annual keepsake ornament this week. A toy soldier for Belle to represent her Nutcracker role. A puppy for Peanut to mark Finley's addition to our family. And little M's was Noah's Ark reflective of his obsession with animals. Sadly it arrived busted so we are awaiting a replacement.

On the same night, Belle had her 3rd grade choral concert. Belle sang in a group duet that she managed to turn one-sided.

 Peanut snapped our picture and Belle requested Finely be in the photo.

Speaking of our dear pup, he got his first haircut this week. It was time that we had all that extra length taken off.

And while we are talking about "taking it off", this is how M prefers to read his Christmas stories...this child never ceases to amaze me in the most unlikely way.

Back to the post at hand. Friday was Grinch night and the littles enjoyed these healthy snacks when they got off the bus. (Credit for the idea goes to someone or another on instagram or pintrest...I honestly don't remember).

Saturday morning we were all slow moving, but eventually made it out the door and on our way to the most amazing Lego exhibit. Every year landscapes/cityscapes/movie scenes are recreated with Legos and it is quite a site to behold for young and old alike. The shots I grabbed are from my iphone while holding a crabby almost 3 year old, so not the best quality but certainly representative of the magnitude of these creations.

Harry Potter

Super Mario Brothers

This was a vanity built out of Legos...we attempted to take a family selfie in the "ipad mirror".

Chicago skyline


After we finished at the Lego display Belle and I had to prep for that evening's Nutcracker performance. I was backstage and had the chance to snap a few photos of Belle. Afterwards, I surprised her with one of our favorite Christmas time treats: Chick-fil-A peppermint milkshake... heavenly! Separate post to come on the actual performance along with some awesome photos compliments of the paparazzi princess, Bestie H.

This came across my instagram feed and I thought I would share. As crazy, and at times stressful, this past week has been it certainly has been filled with happiness and life being lived to its fullest.  This Christmas season I wish each and everyone of you a well lived life! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Tour 2014

With just under two weeks to go until Christmas day, I wanted to take a minute to share our home in its season's best. I abandoned the traditional red and gold of past Christmases and I am in love with the results. 

In the foyer it is simple and classic: greenery, white lights & cream satin bows. This year's major DIY project was stripping the foyer wallpaper, painting the walls BM Classic Grey along with updating the staircase treads, risers & spindles. It is now the perfect backdrop for our Holiday decor. 

Most nights you will find me in the Living Room soaking in all its goodness. The tree is done in preppy green/blue/grey plaid with pink bulbs & dried hydrangeas. I wish I was a better photographer so I could capture the feel of the room adequately.

The Dining Room flows off the Living Room and is dressed with greenery, white lights, and lime green/blue satin ribbon. 

In Hubby's office two red berry wreathes dress up the bookcase bar. 

This little vignette over my kitchen sink brings me so much joy. A few paperwhite bulbs and a $10 Trader Joe's boxwood wreath was all it took. 

A collection of apocathary jars house all the making for a festive mug of cocoa, while our collection of gingerbread houses add a touch of whimsy.

In the family room robin's egg blue and celadon ribbon accent our family tree and fireplace garland. The nontraditional color scheme is fun and sets off the red accents in our ornaments beautifully.

Throughout the house I have our past Christmas cards and Santa photos on display. I often find the littles roaming the house with a photo or two in hand. 

Finally, each of our sugarplums have been spending the nights falling asleep to the twinkle of lights from their own Christmas trees. 

I'll be back again soon with an outdoor tour. I'm just waiting for some snow to fall...after all nothing is better than a white Christmas!